Business Rates

Routinely published Business Rates information

The Council keeps accounts of business rates paid and owed. Much of this information is frequently requested under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA).

Information disclosable under certain frequently received requests is published on this page on the first working day on or before the 1st of each month, and is accurate as-of the 1st of that month.

If you wish to submit an FOIA request for information outside the scope of this page, visit our freedom of information page

  1. All live commercial properties and their ratepayers

    This information is about all live commercial properties and their ratepayers, including:

    • Property address
    • Billing authority reference number
    • Property description
    • Current rateable value
    • Liable party name
    • Start date of liability
    • Mailing address

    View all live commercial properties and their ratepayers (as at 1 October 2019).

  2. Commercial accounts in credit and accounts where a credit has been written-on

    The first worksheet, accounts in credit, includes: 

    • Credit balance
    • Liable party name
    • Mailing address
    • Account start and end date

    Unfortunately, due to system limitations, it is not possible to provide in one sheet the account balances of ratepayers and information about the properties for which they are liable. You will be able to find details about these properties by cross-referencing between the 'accounts in credit' worksheet and the 'all live commercial properties and their ratepayers' spreadsheet.

    The second worksheet, accounts which were in credit and that credit was written-on, includes: 

    • Property address
    • Billing authority reference
    • Write-on amount
    • Date of write-on
    • Primary liable party name
    • Mailing address
    • Account start and end dates

    Worksheet two contains information about accounts which were in credit, and that credit was written-on because some party had legal means by which to reclaim the credit but this party could not be traced.

    Credits written-on because no party had legal means to reclaim them (for instance, in some cases of bankruptcy) are not included. If you wish to have this information, submit an FOIA request specifying this.

    View commercial accounts in credit and accounts where a credit has been written-on (as at 1 October 2019). 

  3. Exempt or relieved commercial properties

    Unfortunately, due to system limitations, it is not possible to provide in one sheet information about the exemptions and reliefs of the properties and information about the ratepayers liable for these properties. You will be able to discover the liable party for each property by cross-referencing between the relevant worksheet in 'exempt or relieved commercial properties' and the 'all live commercial properties and their ratepayers' spreadsheet.

    The first worksheet, details of properties which are exempt from Business Rates, includes: 

    • Property address
    • Property descriptions
    • Billing authority reference
    • Current exemption
    • Exemption start date
    • Rateable value

    The second worksheet, details of properties which receive relief from Business Rates, includes: 

    • Property address
    • Property description
    • Billing authority reference
    • Current rateable value
    • Relief description
    • Percentage relief awarded
    • Start date of relief

    Some properties are 'relieved' in name only (for example, some empty properties). Ratepayers for these properties experience 0% rate relief and, therefore, are not included in the list. If you would like information about these properties, submit an FOIA request specifying this.

    The percentage relief reported for properties subject to small business rates relief are only estimates calculated as set out on our Business Rate relief page. These estimates inevitably include minor rounding errors. While we do hold the accurate percentage relief for each of the properties, our reporting software is unfortunately not able to report this data for multiple accounts. If you would like to request the percentage relief for specific properties you may do so.

    Additionally, where a relief is described as "top up", the relief percentage can be summed with the other type of relief (typically mandatory charity relief) for that property to calculate the total percentage of relief.

    View exempt or relieved commercial properties (as at 1 October 2019). 

  4. Ratepayers who became liable in the last year

    This is a list of properties for which a Business Rate account has been created in the last year, including:

    • Property address
    • Property description
    • Billing authority reference
    • Status (live or not)
    • Current rateable value
    • Liable party name
    • Liability start date
    • Mailing address

    View ratepayers who became liable in the last year (as at 1 October 2019).

  5. Mailing addresses

    Unfortunately, roughly a quarter of parties liable for Business Rates in South Somerset (excluding sole-traders) have reported their contact mailing address as the private personal address of a representative of the organization.

    Naturally, this data is personal under the Data Protection Act 1998 and cannot be disclosed. The difficulty in resolving this problem lies in differentiating between personal and official addresses. For this reason, in respect of the Business Rates information, we have put in-place the following temporary solution, which will be revised when we are satisfied that our rate-payers have had ample opportunity to submit revised mailing addresses if they so wish.

    In all circumstances, where the contact mailing address is the same as the hereditament address, this is provided. Where the liable party is a sole trader, the word 'Redacted' is displayed in the contact mailing address field. In all other cases, the phrase "Enquire Elsewhere" appears, this indicates that we hold this information (namely, a mailing address at which the liable party can be contacted) to be otherwise publicly available. You can find this information by using the 'information on existing companies' search feature on the Companies House website).

    We apologise for this temporary inconvenience.

  6. Advice and assistance

    Ordinarily, when an FOI request is received which can be wholly satisfied by information published on this page, we will refer the applicant to this page without running one-off reports for their request.

    Nonetheless, we welcome requests for any advice and assistance you may require in interpreting the data available here. 

    We also welcome requests which cannot be satisfied by the routinely published information.

  7. Information held by the Valuation Office

    With respect to current, property-specific information, we do not hold more information than the Valuation Office Agency (VOA).

    In each case where property-specific information is disclosed, the Billing Authority reference number will be provided. This can be used to search the register for details of the property. We regard any information discoverable in this manner as reasonably accessible and therefore exempt from disclosure under the FOIA by virtue of section 21.

  8. Migration data

    In December 2014, we transferred all Business Rates information from a previous revenues system to the current one. A process referred to here as migration.

    Information on write-ons before December 2014 cannot be provided due to this migration.

    Accounts with a balance of £0.00 were given a nominal balance of -£0.01 and this amount was 'written on' during migration (this was a work-around for the problem of limited capability of computer systems).

    We do not consider these credits to have been truly 'written on', and have excluded them from the list of credits written-on. If you require this information, submit an FOIA request specifying this.

  9. Sole Traders' personal data

    Identifying personal data relating to natural persons acting as Sole Traders who pay business rates are not published on the ground that publication would breach the first data protection principle of the Data Protection Act 1998.

    We also consider this information to be exempt from disclosure under an FOIA request, under Section 40(3)(a)(i) of that Act. All non-personal account information held about sole traders is published, and personal data in any field is replaced with the word "Redacted". Fields denoted as such should be taken as confirmation that the redacted information is held. Fields that are left blank should be interpreted as an indication that the information is not held.

  10. Zero rateable value properties

    Some properties in South Somerset have a rateable value of £0. While parties are technically 'liable' for Business Rates in respect of these properties, they are not actually liable for any fees (since none arise).

    For this reason our practice is to exclude '0 RV' properties from requested and proactively-published datasets. If you would like information regarding '0 RV' properties, submit an FOIA request specifying this.

  11. Properties without a liable party

    We hold information about a small number of commercial properties which we are currently investigating to ascertain who is liable for their business rates. Due to the limitations of our reporting software, we are not able to include details of these properties in our reports, as we cannot report on a property without an associated liable party.

    If you require information about these properties, submit an FOIA request specifying this. We will use other methods to retrieve the information.

     

  12. File types

    All reports are published in the MS Excel (.xls) file-type.

    If you would like a report in a different file-type, send us a request, stating the report and the file-type you desire. Wherever possible, we will comply with your request.

Thank you. You response is appreciated.

Was this page helpful?